Local motorcycles could grab Asia market
Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER
DHAKA, JAN 5: The country’s emerging motorcycle industry could grab a significant portion of the Asian market if provided with proper government policy support, stakeholders said on Thursday.
The manufacturers, importers, dealers involved in the motorcycle industry demanded access to finance, energy security and infrastructure development to continue the industry’s impressive growth, which was 25 per cent last year. The stakeholders were speaking at a meeting on “Developing policy guideline for basic motorcycle manufacturing industry in Bangladesh” organised by International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) in the capital.
Md Mojibur Rahman, chairman of Bangladesh Tariff Commission, was present as the chief guest. ABM Khorshed Alam, additional secretary at the Ministry of Industries, Md Shah Alam Khan, member (Customs), National Board of Revenue, and Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, president of IBFB, were also present.
M Kamal Uddin, director of Institute of Appropriate Technology, BUET, presented a keynote paper at the meeting.
“The tariff policy needs revision, especially the supplementary duties has to be reduced,” said Md Lokman Hossain, international marketing manager of Walton Automobiles, leading motorcycle manufacturer of Bangladesh.
“The bicycle industry gets 15 per cent cash incentives for exports, but we aren’t getting any. We have manpower and technology. We only need government’s support,” Hossain said. The raw material procurement policy and technology transfer mechanism should also be in place to rev up the industry growth, he added.
Motorcycle sales each year in the developing countries account for 90 per cent of the world consumption, Kamal Uddin in his paper said.
“Honda Motors of Japan dominated the Asian motorcycle industry because of their strong R&D, proper management and innovation,” Kamal said. The government has to formulate technology development and innovation policy and national skill committee to develop skilled manpower for this sector, he added.
China is currently leading the motorcycle production in Asia, accounting for 50 per cent of the total production of 17 million units per year.
India produces 5 million, Japan 1.5 million and Vietnam 2 million units per year.
Bangladesh motorcycle industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the country. Stakeholders are expecting a 25 per cent annual growth in the next five years.
The domestic demand is met by imports from Japan, India, Taiwan, China and Pakistan.
Kamal said a regulatory body should be formed inside Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), with representations from FBCCI, BSTI, NBR and BUET, to coordinate among different bodies in the industry.
Bangladesh motor industry has three types of motorcycle suppliers: importers, assemblers and manufacturers.
The industry has three divisions: CBU (Completely Build-up Unit), CKD or SKD (Completely or Semi Knocked Down) and manufacturing. Few local enterprises like Walton Automobiles and Runner Automobiles have taken initiatives to manufacture motorcycles locally.
Road Master Ltd, Honda and Bajaj are going to set up manufacturing plants soon.